I would like to wholeheartedly endorse the ideas for health care proposed by Peggy Heynen of the Yukon Registered Nurses’ Association.
Nurse practitioners, midwives and collaborative-care medical centres not only provide comprehensive medical care, but can be more economical.
Physicians, of course, remain key to the system, but we can supplement their work and provide quality care as Heynen outlines.
It is clear health care in the Yukon is in a state of crisis, patients without doctors are told to go to Emergency, and fine doctors like Dr. Xui-Mei Zhang are forced to go elsewhere.
In terms of continuing care, facilities are limited and the much vaunted Thomson Centre is, once again, not opening as announced.
The Yukon government has totally failed in terms of planning rational health-care delivery at all levels in the territory.
The Yukon Hospital Corporation, without feasibility plans or extensive consultation or collaboration with the public and health-care providers, has invested the taxpayer dollar in hospitals, which clearly will also have staffing problems.
I remind readers that the hospital corporation is not subject to questioning in the legislature and, when the Yukon Party government is questioned about the corporation’s decisions, its response is to abdicate any responsibility.
The government has recklessly left health planning to the corporation, which is not accountable, and has committed the taxpayer for decades to buildings without sound planning for patient care.
It is clear to non-medical people, like myself, that a small territory must have a first-class hospital in the largest centre with effective health-care centres in the communities.
Having watched provinces, such as Saskatchewan, forced to close community hospitals, one can see the future for the Yukon if we continue with this type of irresponsible development.
The Yukon Registered Nurses Association has demonstrated that we do not need to be locked into outmoded forms of health-care provision, but that, with innovation, we can provide better health care.
I hope that the Yukon Medical Association and other health-care providers will present their ideas for improved health care for everyone in the Yukon.
Clearly, common sense ideas are there.
Is the political will?